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How to install DirectAdmin, Full DirectAdmin Installation Guide

DirectAdmin is a web hosting control panel with a graphical user interface which was designed to make administration of websites easier.

26 Nov, 20 by Susith Nonis 11 min Read

List of content you will read in this article:

DirectAdmin is a web hosting control panel with a graphical user interface which was designed to make administration of websites easier. DirectAdmin is a really easy to use control panel and is extremely fast. 

Eventhough DirectAdmin is not a free service, they offer flexible licensing options for any kind of hosting solutions. With the product you will also get 24/7 support for any problem that you will face. 

Directdmin offers 3 access levels as Admin, Reseller and User. Each of these access levels come with different features so let's see what each of them can do. 

DiectAdmin General Features:

  • Integrated ticket support system where you can ask for help directly from DirectAdmin
  • Two-factor authentication providing an additional security layer
  • Easily add plugins to extend DirectAdmin functionality easily
  • Automaticlly updates the software
  • Completely cutomizable according to your business
  • Automatic recovery from crashes

DirectAdmin Administrator features:

  • Create / Modify Admins and reseller with ease
  • Admins can create predefined account packages using reseller packages
  • Shows all the accounts on the system
  • DNS administration
  • IP allocation to server and resellers
  • mail queue administration
  • The admin can view, stop, start, and restart services
  • DNS clustering and more

DirectAdmin Reseller features:

  • Account creation, listing, modification, and deletion is done quickly and easily.
  • Creation of user packages
  • Reseller statistics
  • IP assignment to customers
  • Possibility to create personalized nameservers for their customers 
  • System/ services information and more

DirectAdmin User features:

  • Email administration
  • FTP management
  • DNS menu where you can add and remove records, change MX settings, and anything else that goes with full DNS control
  • File manager
  • MySQL Databases 
  • Site Backups
  • Statistics Menu
  • allows the client to select which version of PHP should be associated with the .php extension with PHP selector
  • and many more

These are some of the features that come with DirectAdmin control panel. However if you are thinking to yourself what other softwares are there that can do the same thing.

Yes there are DirectAdmin alternatives out there. Here are our top alternatives:

  • cPanel
  • Vesta
  • Plesk
  • Webmin
  • EHCP
  • ISPConfig
  • CentOS Web Panel

Now that we got to know about the DirectAdmin control panel, let's get to the installation of DirectAdmin. 

Operating System

Operating systems supported by DirectAdmin are listed in the table below.

OS Versions
CloudLinux (recommended)  6.x 32/64-bit, 7.x 64-bit, 8.x 64-bit
RedHat Enterprise / CentOS 6.x 32/64-bit, 7.x 64-bit, 8.x 64-bit
Debian 8.x 64-bit, 9.x 64-bit, 10.x 64-bit, 11.x 64-bit ALPHA
FreeBSD 11.x 64-bit, 12.x 64-bit

If you have a question as to installing DirectAdmin on Ubuntu, here's something that is extremely important that you should note down!

We don't recommend on installing DirectAdmin on Ubuntu operating system. However there is a way to set it up on Ubuntu by running it on "Linux 84-bit static" OS selections for Ubuntu installations. 

Since Ubuntu is a Debian based OS so we recommend to use Debian. 

Partition Scheme

Partition Size
/boot 500 MB
swap For < 2GB of RAM: 2 x RAM, for 2GB - 8GB of RAM: equal to the amount of RAM, for > 8GB of RAM: at least 4GB
/tmp 1 GB. Highly recommended to mount /tmp with noexec,nosuid in /etc/fstab
/ 6 - 10 GB
/var 8 - 20 GB. Logs, and Databases with CentOS
/usr 5 - 12+ GB. DA data, source code, mysql backups with custombuild option
/home Rest of drive. Roughly 80% for User data. Mount with nosuid in /etc/fstab if possible.

Note that before installing DirectAdmin you should have a CLEAN installation of the operating system. It's not recommended to install DirectAdmin on an existing live production server. This is because DirectAdmin will not covert the existing data upon installation. 

Have a fresh server ready before starting the installation. 

Hardware

  • A processor of minimum of 500MHz
  • More cores the better
  • Minimum of 1GB of RAM (2+ GB recommended)
  • Minimum of 2GB of storage space after the OS installation and excluding website data

If you are expecting high traffic levels then you will need more memory, processor power, and hard drive space than we recommend here. Intel and AMD should work fine. Solaris/Sparc will not.

Software

  • HAve SSH installed and working
  • make sure that the named (Name Daemon) is selected during the Redhat install
  • gcc and g++ are required to compile Apache and PHP

The kernel should support IPv6. The system kernel and filesystem must support quotas. 

Authority level

You MUST have root access to the server

IP addresses

  • Minimum of one static IPv4 address
  • For DNS control you will sometimes need two IP addresses

With only one IP address you might be forced to use an external DNS service, depending on your registrar. -- this means that the web sites you create through the control panel will not propagate automatically.

Your server IP must be an external IP address as local IP addresses cannot be set in your license. The IP that connects to our system must patch the license IP, or downloads will not work.

With the installation you will get the following installed ad set-up on your server:

  • Database servers
    • MySQL
    • MariaDB
  • WWW servers
    • Apache
    • Nginx
    • Litespeed web server
    • OpenLiteSpeed
  • PHP 5.x / 7.x Modes
    • mod_php
    • FPM
    • FastCGI
    • lsphp
  • Web applications
    • phpMyAdmin
    • roundcube
    • SquirrelMail webmail
  • IMAP / POP3 Server
    • Dovecot
  • mail trasfer agent / SMTP server
    • Exim
  • Mailing list
    • Majordomo
  • Anti-Spam solutions
    • SpamAssassin
    • Pigeonhole
    • Easy Spam Fighter
    • BlockCrackling
    • RSPAMD
  • Antivirus Software
    • ClamAV
  • FTP Server
    • ProFTPd
    • Pure-FTPd
  • Web application firewall
    • modsecurity
  • WWW usage statistics
    • AWstats
    • Webalizer

DirectAdmin Installation guide

For installing DirectAdmin on your server, the license is mandotory. When you purchase a web hosting solution from Monovm, we provide the DirectAdmin license. 

yum update

Before installing DirectAdmin, there are some basic programs that you'll need. Check your Operating system and run the following codes:

CentOS 6:

yum install wget tar gcc gcc-c++ flex bison make bind bind-libs bind-utils openssl openssl-devel perl quota libaio \
libcom_err-devel libcurl-devel gd zlib-devel zip unzip libcap-devel cronie bzip2 cyrus-sasl-devel perl-ExtUtils-Embed \
autoconf automake libtool which patch mailx bzip2-devel lsof glibc-headers kernel-devel expat-devel db4-devel

The libcom_err-devel package is for CentOS 6, relating to this error.
CentOS 7

yum install wget tar gcc gcc-c++ flex bison make bind bind-libs bind-utils openssl openssl-devel perl quota libaio \
libcom_err-devel libcurl-devel gd zlib-devel zip unzip libcap-devel cronie bzip2 cyrus-sasl-devel perl-ExtUtils-Embed \
autoconf automake libtool which patch mailx bzip2-devel lsof glibc-headers kernel-devel expat-devel \
psmisc net-tools systemd-devel libdb-devel perl-DBI perl-Perl4-CoreLibs perl-libwww-perl xfsprogs rsyslog logrotate crontabs file kernel-headers

CentOS 8

yum install iptables wget tar gcc gcc-c++ flex bison make bind bind-libs bind-utils openssl openssl-devel perl quota libaio \
libcom_err-devel libcurl-devel gd zlib-devel zip unzip libcap-devel cronie bzip2 cyrus-sasl-devel perl-ExtUtils-Embed \
autoconf automake libtool which patch mailx bzip2-devel lsof glibc-headers kernel-devel expat-devel \
psmisc net-tools systemd-devel libdb-devel perl-DBI perl-libwww-perl xfsprogs rsyslog logrotate crontabs file \
kernel-headers hostname

Debian 6

apt-get install gcc g++ make flex bison openssl libssl-dev perl perl-base perl-modules libperl-dev libaio1 libaio-dev \
zlib1g zlib1g-dev libcap-dev bzip2 automake autoconf libtool cmake pkg-config python libreadline-dev libdb4.8-dev libsasl2-dev patch

Debian 7

apt-get install gcc g++ make flex bison openssl libssl-dev perl perl-base perl-modules libperl-dev libaio1 libaio-dev \
zlib1g zlib1g-dev libcap-dev bzip2 automake autoconf libtool cmake pkg-config python libdb-dev libsasl2-dev libncurses5-dev patch libjemalloc-dev

Debian 8

apt-get install wget gcc g++ make flex bison openssl libssl-dev perl perl-base perl-modules libperl-dev libaio1 libaio-dev \
zlib1g zlib1g-dev libcap-dev cron bzip2 automake autoconf libtool cmake pkg-config python libdb-dev libsasl2-dev \
libncurses5-dev libsystemd-dev bind9 dnsutils quota libsystemd-daemon0 patch libjemalloc-dev logrotate rsyslog libc6-dev systemd systemd-sysv

You might need to remove libsystemd-dev from the list, if apt-get cannot find it.
Debian 9

apt-get update
apt-get install wget gcc g++ make flex bison openssl libssl-dev perl perl-base perl-modules libperl-dev libperl4-corelibs-perl libaio1 libaio-dev \
zlib1g zlib1g-dev libcap-dev cron bzip2 zip automake autoconf libtool cmake pkg-config python libdb-dev libsasl2-dev \
libncurses5-dev libsystemd-dev bind9 dnsutils quota patch libjemalloc-dev logrotate rsyslog libc6-dev libexpat1-dev \
libcrypt-openssl-rsa-perl libnuma-dev libnuma1

Debian 10

apt-get update
apt-get install wget gcc g++ make flex bison openssl libssl-dev perl perl-base perl-modules libperl-dev libperl4-corelibs-perl libwww-perl libaio1 libaio-dev \
zlib1g zlib1g-dev libcap-dev cron bzip2 zip automake autoconf libtool cmake pkg-config python libdb-dev libsasl2-dev \
libncurses5 libncurses5-dev libsystemd-dev bind9 dnsutils quota patch logrotate rsyslog libc6-dev libexpat1-dev \
libcrypt-openssl-rsa-perl libnuma-dev libnuma1

FreeBSD tends to have everything needed, and the need to run pre-install commands is less common.
Custombuild does require gmake, but will try to install it with dpkg -r or ports if it's missing. If needed:

pkg_add -r gmake perl wget bison flex gd cyrus-sasl2 cmake python autoconf libtool libarchive mailx

FreeBSD 10

pkg install gcc gmake perl5 wget bison flex cyrus-sasl cmake python autoconf libtool libarchive iconv bind99 mailx psmisc

FreeBSD 11

pkg install gcc gmake perl5 wget bison flex cyrus-sasl cmake python autoconf libtool libarchive iconv bind911 mailx webalizer gettext-runtime psmisc tar

FreeBSD 12

pkg install gcc gmake perl5 wget bison flex cyrus-sasl cmake python autoconf libtool libarchive iconv bind911 mailx webalizer gettext-runtime udns sudo psmisc tar openssl krb5

Download the setup.sh file 

wget -O setup.sh https://www.directadmin.com/setup.sh

Hint: Use "fetch" instead of "wget" on FreeBSD systems.

Change permissions on the setup.sh file

chmod 755 setup.sh

Run the script

./setup.sh auto

Congratulations! You have finally set-up DirectAdmin on your server. Let us know in the comments how you managed to do it and dont forget to share it with your colleagues. 

Susith Nonis

I'm fascinated by the IT world and how the 1's and 0's work. While I veture into the world of Technology I try to share what I know in the simplest way possible. Not a fan of coffee, a sweet addict and a self accredited 'master chef'.